Limerick’s William O’Connor exited the Ladbrokes Players Championship Finals on Saturday evening following a 10-7 Last 16 reverse to Jose De Sousa.
De Sousa qualified for the competition as the number one seed having enjoyed a successful run of results at the Players Championship events during 2021.
Following a 6-5 victory over Chris Dobey on Friday evening, the Cappamore man saw off Polish sharpshooter, Kyzysztof Ratajski earlier on Saturday afternoon. Despite trailing 2-0 early on, O’Connor broke back and held his thow in the 10th leg and checked out 16 to take the crucial victory. This would arguably have been the biggest upset of the last 32, which saw many of the big names progress at their ease.
In this clash with the 2020 Grand Slam Champion, The Magpie broke his opponent’s throw early on, to lead 2-1. However, his scoring let him down and despite a routine 60 checkout, he still trailed 6-4 at the second interval. In that 10th leg, De Sousa missed double 12 for a nine-darter, but O’Connor’s double 3 gave him the leg.
Missed darts at double in leg 12 meant that the opportunity to level the game was missed.
From here, Ireland’s number one was unable to level and De Sousa ran out a 10-7 winner. O’Connor earns £10,000 for his efforts this weekend. Attention now turns to Monday’s World Darts Championship draw where O’Connor will enter at the first round stage.
‘The Special One’, meanwhile, advances to face Fermanagh’s Brendan Dolan who defeated World Champion Gerwyn Price, 10-8.
Elsewhere on Saturday evening, Derry’s Daryl Gurney defeated James Wade, while Michael Van Gerwen’s impressive start helped him to a 10-6 triumph over Gary Anderson.
Sunday sees the conclusion of the action, with quarter, semi and final action all set to take place at Butlin’s Resort, Minehead.
Jose de Sousa 6-5 Darius Labanauskas
William O’Connor 6-4 Krzysztof Ratajski
Gerwyn Price 6-1 Martin Schindler
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Ritchie Edhouse
Daryl Gurney 6-5 Michael Smith
James Wade 6-5 Callan Rydz
Ryan Searle 6-5 Ryan Joyce
Rob Cross 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Peter Wright 6-5 Adrian Lewis
Damon Heta 6-2 Gabriel Clemens
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Raymond van Barneveld
Gary Anderson 6-2 Ryan Meikle
Jonny Clayton 6-0 Scott Mitchell
Luke Humphries 6-5 Ross Smith
Vincent van der Voort 6-5 Andy Boulton
Danny Noppert 6-2 Dimitri Van den Bergh
Jose de Sousa 10-7 William O’Connor
Gerwyn Price 8-10 Brendan Dolan
Daryl Gurney 10-7 James Wade
Ryan Searle 10-7 Rob Cross
Peter Wright 10-8 Damon Heta
Michael van Gerwen 10-6 Gary Anderson
Jonny Clayton TBC Luke Humphries
Vincent van der Voort 10-7 Danny Noppert
Quarter-Final Draw (Sunday)
Jose de Sousa v Brendan Dolan
Daryl Gurney v Ryan Searle
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Vincent Van Der Voort v Jonny Clayton/Luke Humphries